Symphonic Encounters

Symphonic Encounters

The VSO’s open rehearsal program, Symphonic Encounters, takes students, teachers, and community groups behind the scenes to discover what it takes for the musicians, conductors, and production team of the Vancouver Symphony to prepare for a world class concert. 

In addition to the rehearsal, opportunities to Meet a Musician or take an Orpheum Tour may be offered depending on capacity. Ticket holders will be notified of these opportunities in advance of the rehearsal date.  

Meet a Musician: During the break, VSO musician will be available to answer any questions students may have about a career in music or the rehearsal process. 

Orpheum Tour: A 40-minute tour of the Orpheum Theatre is available as an alternative to sitting in on the second half of the rehearsal. Space is limited, so advance booking is required. 

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 17. 10am-12:30pm

Stravinsky, Ravel & Márquez

This is a regular professional rehearsal. Please note that the rehearsal plans are decided by the conductor and might include one or all listed pieces.

Stravinsky’s neoclassical ballet “The Fairy’s Kiss” is a tribute to the late Tchaikovsky who died before the two could properly meet. Like the man in the story who was kissed by a fairy and taken away, Tchaikovsky was taken too soon as he passed during the high point of his career.  Additionally, come and hear two suites of waltzes by Ravel who also pays tribute to his mentor Schubert as well as the popularity of the waltz in 19th century imperial ballets. “Valses Nobles et Sentimentales” delicately touches on impressionist and modernist themes while “La Valse” rises and swells like an ocean storm.


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Friday, December 6, 10am-12:30pm

Philip Glass’ Eleventh Symphony

This is a Dress Rehearsal. Dress Rehearsals usually include a run through of the program. However, please note that rehearsal plans do sometimes change.

Have you ever seen a banjo played in an orchestra? This is your chance to see it as the VSO performs Gnarly Buttons by John Adams, a classical work with an American folk flair featuring VSO Principal clarinetist Jeanette Jonquil. Unconventional instruments like banjo, accordion, and sampling keyboards mimic the sounds of farm life in this eclectic piece.

You will be the first to hear the Canadian premiere of Steve Reich’s Jacob’s Ladder, joined by the Synergy Vocals ensemble. Also premiering is Linda Catlin Smith’s Mountain, a piece by a composer influenced by authors and visual artists. This event also features Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 11, a masterpiece in minimalism, showcasing the best North American composers of the 21st century.

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Thursday, January 30, 10am – 12:30pm

Beethoven & Tchaikovsky 6

This is a regular professional rehearsal. Please note that the rehearsal plans are decided by the conductor and might include one or all listed pieces.

Join us for Beethoven’s 7th reimagined by American composer Carlos Simon with his moving tribute Fate Now Conquers, based on a passage from one of Beethoven’s journals. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique), which he called “the best work I have ever produced,” is the final symphony composed before his untimely death. Passionate melodies in the uncommon key of B minor with limping waltzes and brass features solidify this piece as one of his best.

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How to Order

There are several ways to register for a Symphonic Encounters Concert:

  1. Pay in full with a credit card: Click on your preferred date and time above to create an order. Orders placed online may be reassigned to ensure that groups are seated together.
  2. To pay a deposit, or to pay via cheque or cash. Please contact Customer Service at

    A non-refundable deposit of 10% is required to secure space at your preferred concert. The full balance is due no later than three weeks in advance of the performance

Please Note:
Teachers and Support Staff, we kindly request you reach out to for arrangement of your free tickets alongside your students.

Everyone in attendance will be required to purchase a ticket. To arrange complimentary tickets for babies 6 months and under, please contact

For information about the ArtStarts Cherniavsky’s Mr. Music Fund grants to schools to assist in purchasing student tickets, visit


Education Department, Vancouver Symphony
500–833 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0G4


Safety Measures: For FAQ’s about Safety Measures, please click here and please see our information about the performance below. For a complete Communicable Disease Prevention Plan contact

The Orpheum Theatre is a public space. Photos or Videos may be captured and used by the VSO for promotional or educational purposes.